Getting things done seems increasingly like a youthful delusion. Here, the practical and perceptual merge. It is increasingly hard to get things done. This is a neuromuscular reality. It is also a psychological or even philosophical reality. Why bother…one might say. When the two phenomena converge, they can do so pleasantly. And for me this is a major discovery, or admission. Giving up is more that it’s cracked up to be.
The electronic equivalent of hoarding has long fueled the disk drive industry. It’s now doing much the same for the cloud. And I am certainly doing my bit. Part of my Apple computer remains in the world of Windows. Yes, the disc is partitioned to contain not only old PC files, but the actual Microsoft operating system. Yes, start your Mac, hold down the option key and damned if you’re not back in 2010. There it is, every damn thing I ever wrote. Actually, for a Sunday afternoon project I was planning to revise a piece I wrote in 2006. Somehow I knew it was 2006. Somehow I didn’t know it was 12 years ago. As my British cousin Caroline is fond of saying, at 71 we are practically dead.
Anyway, before dying, I was determined to retrieve my 2006 blog and execute my curious quasi-journalistic mission. And this required going over to the digital dark side, vis-à-vis, Windows. It was easy enough to hold down the option key and get into the Microsoft part of my computer. But like Alice in her protracted visit to Wonderland, it wasn’t so simple to get out.
Nothing in computing stays the same. Nothing human stays the same either. In a destructive and unfortunate competition, Windows had been racing my myopia. The result was a screen I could barely see and certainly couldn’t read. The answer, of course, it is to throw oneself at the mercy of Help. Windows’ Help function reveals the existence of the Control Panel…dimly recalled…which turns out to be much like the similarly named feature in Apple’s operating system. Only, when I give it a chance, better organized than it used to be. Simpler to use.
Finally, I get the icons and type large enough to read. But while I’m doing this, Messrs. Microsoft is making up for lost time. After all, it’s been many months, maybe even a year, since I switched on the Windows part of my computer. And a lot has happened since then. Viruses have swarmed the world like Mongol hordes. The operating system has been through several iterations. So now Microsoft takes over. Please wait while we update your security enhancements. Please wait and wait. Your computer will restart several times. No it won’t. Every time I restart my computer, or it restarts itself, we return to the Apple world. My iMac is back to being an iMac. So I intervene and go back to Microsoft’s environment, hoping that things are now updated. They aren’t. It took about two hours to just get back to normal.
But I did find my blog. What I didn’t find is the 12 years since I wrote it. They are around somewhere. They must be.